How to install Windows to USB from an ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM/VHD/VHDX file?

If you have a Windows 10/8.x/7 installation ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM or a VHD/VHDX file which have Windows 10/8.x/7 installed, you can use WinToUSB to install it onto an external hard drive or USB flash drive as a bootable Windows USB, then you can carry this bootable Windows USB drive to anywhere and use it on any computer. Please read this guide carefully before performing the create operation.

 

User Guide: How to use WinToUSB to install Windows onto a USB drive as portable Windows?

  1. Connect the destination external hard drive or flash drive to the computer with an installed copy of WinToUSB.
  2. Please use the following guidelines to prepare the partitions if you are using an external hard drive to create Windows To Go. You do not need to perform this step if you are using a USB flash drive to create Windows To Go, WinToUSB will help you to format the USB flash drive in setp 6.
    • Booting both BIOS-based and UEFI-based computers (Recommended): Please covert the USB drive to MBR partition scheme and create the system and boot partitions. The system partition must be FAT32 format and the boot partition must be NTFS format.
    • Booting BIOS-based computers: Please covert the USB drive to MBR partition scheme and create the system and boot partitions. The system partition can be FAT32 or NTFS format and the boot partition must be NTFS format. The system partition and boot partition can be the same partition.
    • Booting UEFI-based computers: Please covert the USB drive to GPT partition scheme and create the EFI system partition (ESP) and boot partition. The EFI system partition must be FAT32 format and the boot partition must be NTFS format.
    Tips:
    1. Both the system and boot partition must be primary partition, and we recommend using Windows built-in Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to partition and format the disk. If you use a third-party partitioning tool to format the partitions, Windows may not boot properly.
    2. The destination boot partition must be a NTFS partition and at least 14 GB.
    3. The destination system partition must be a NTFS/FAT32 partition. If the destination system partition is a FAT32 partition, then it must be greater than or equal to 40 MB and less than or equal to 32 GB. (The recommended size is 100 - 500 MB.)
    4. If you have formatted the wrong USB drive, you can use our Free Data Recovery Software Hasleo Data Recovery to recover your lost files.
  3. Download, install and run WinToUSB.
  4. Click the ISO Icon button, then click the Browse Icon button and select the Windows installation ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM or VHD/VHDX file from the open dialog box.
  5. WinToUSB scans for and lists installable operating systems. If you see the edition of Windows you want to install, select it, then click "Next".

    create Windows To Go from ISO

  6. Select the destination disk in the drop-down list. If your USB drive is not correctly recognized by WinToUSB, you need to click the Refresh Icon button for the program to recognize the USB drive. If you are using a USB flash drive to create Windows To Go, a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to format it to continue. Select the partition scheme you want to use and click "Yes" to format it.
  7. Select the system partition and boot partition from the partition list, the selected partitions will be marked as red.

    Select target partition icon

  8. Click "Next". After clicking "Next", WinToUSB begins installing Windows.

    Installing Windows icon

  9. It takes some time to install. After installation restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from your USB drive.
  10. Windows installation starts up and you have to complete all the installation steps. You will have to boot from your USB drive if the Windows Installation restarts the computer.

 

Follow these simple steps, you can create a Windows bootable USB drive with WinToUSB easily.

 

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